Review of Fast: Good Home Cooking – Michael Van De Elzen

Posted: January 11, 2015 in cookbook, Review

fast good home cooking

I don’t know if it’s anything to do with my occasional comments that cookbooks need to be able to sit flat on the bench to be used, but I love the new sit-flat limp binding of Michael Van De Elzen’s new book. What’s inside is pretty good, too. This is very much a family cookbook – there’s a number of recipes aimed at children, even a small section on baby food (I never cease to be appalled at those rows of little cans of ‘baby food’ in the supermarket; come on, guys, it isn’t that hard to mash banana – and Michael’s recipes are certainly a bit more interesting than mashed banana).

I’m not sure that “Fast” is the right title for this book… the Sticky Ribs I made for dinner the other night take an hour to cook, involving three separate cooking processes. But they were truly delicious! (And fed the three of us, including the teenager, for just $5). “Good home cooking” is, however, entirely accurate. This is proper food, recipes that you can (and probably will) actually use in your home kitchen, with an emphasis on making it better for you with more fruit and more vegetables – Michael even manages to hide pumpkin in cupcakes!

The recipes are organised by meals or by themes, with big bold headings and lots of colour pictures. It’s a very modern-looking and stylish cookbook, but it doesn’t lack on substance. I particularly like the number of meals where elements like breads and drinks are made from scratch – although I would have made flour tortillas for the lamb tacos, because the mesa used in making corn tortillas is quite hard to find. There are plenty of ideas here to make lots of yummy and innovative foods and drinks, guaranteed to make the family happy.

Random House

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

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